“A Doll That Gives Birth”? So what?

16 December 2010 at 10:07 am 1 comment

Lisa Belkin from The New York Times is not my favorite writer on motherhood or women’s issues, and we do not always see eye-to-eye with each other. Here’s one example–she describes a handmade doll available to order online this way:

“Made of soft cloth, with an elastic vaginal opening, each doll comes with a baby within, along with a woven umbilical cord and a placenta. There is a snap on the newborn dolly’s mouth and a corresponding one where the Mommy dolly’s nipple would be, so that the infant can breast-feed. [. . . ] The experience of introducing one to your child: Priceless? Or too much information too soon? Would you want your children to find one under the tree?”

Really, “too much information”? My son loves to watch movies of birth–from the one in the Boston Museum of Science to the YouTube video of his own birth. I nurse my son at playgrounds or museums or playspaces or on buses/trains, and often other kids come up and talk to me about it; similarly, he notices when other babies/kids nurse, and we talk abou that. I don’t see how a cloth doll is more “information” than anything out there in life–it’s just a way for kids to play and pretend.

Personally, I remember playing with a baby doll under my shirt, then laying down and pretending to pull the doll out from between my legs and hold it on my chest. I guess I was about five or so, maybe six, and I had a much-older cousin who was having her first baby, so it was completely a natural thing–just the way, you know, I had played at being a bride a year earlier when that cousin got married.

Belkin’s just trying to stoke a controversy with her post, I think, but shockingly, lots of the comments are quite supportive. Go, NYT readers!



Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Quick links: The Intangible Gifts of Breastfeeding

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Christine  |  16 December 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Bravo! I was recently talking with a friend who is expecting her first child and is taking some childbirth education classes, and she was describing a video she had watched where a mother was having a water birth and her entire family (including a 5-year-old boy) was present. Another friend chimed in that that “could practically be considered child abuse”. I was floored – I asked what she meant, and she rolled her eyes and said how disgusting it was to expose a young boy to his naked mom in that condition. I can certainly see how that birth experience might not be every woman’s preference, but……abusive?!? When did birth become such a private, ugly event only appropriate for adults? I was truly shocked.


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